McConkey set for for another Regions Cup adventure
Harry McConkey's amateur internationals are back in training again as they prepare for this summer's UEFA Regions Cup in Dublin.
For the second competition in a row, Northern Ireland's Eastern Region side have reached the finals of UEFA's most prestigious amateur competition.
Former Ballinamallard United and Dergview manager McConkey has named a provisional training squad of 26, which will be reduced to 20 for the finals. McConkey has selected 18 Championship One players, four Championship Two and four Amateur League players.
The Amateur League will be represented by Gareth Ringland of Lisburn Rangers, James Doyle of Crumlin Star and Immaculata duo Colm O'Riordan and Gary Dorrian. Ballyclare Comrades have the most players in the squad, with a total of five including Regions Cup veteran Chris Trussell.
Competition rules dictate that players who have competed in the top division of the Irish League at any stage in their careers can not participate in the Regions Cup.
Unlike the class of 2013, who travelled to Venice to represent their country, McConkey's men will travel south to Dublin for this year's tournament. The eight-team competition will kick-off on June 26 with the final set for July 4. The two Irish sides will be joined by representatives from Croatia, Germany, Czech Republic, Turkey, Bosnia and Poland.
The draw will take place on March 30. There will be two groups of four, with the group winners making the final.
Northern Ireland qualified for the tournament by defeating sides from Ukraine, Moldova and Catalonia in Chsinau.
In 2013, Ards defender James Cully captained the Eastern Region to the finals in Venice, where they lost to the hosts, drew with Hungary and beat Azerbaijan.
In the run-up to the tournament, Harry McConkey's men will play a number of friendlies and train on a regular basis. The final squad will be announced in early June.
Eastern Region preparation squad:
Goalkeepers: Paddy Flood (Ballyclare Comrades), Brian Neeson (Carrick Rangers), Ryan McBride (Lisburn Distillery)
Defenders: Daniel McMurray (H&W Welders), Daniel Kelly (Carrick Rangers), Kyle Buckley (Ballyclare Comrades), Scott McMillen (H&W Welders), Gareth Ringland (Lisburn Rangers), William Armstrong (H&W Welders), Ultan Lennon (Armagh City), Andrew Doyle (Ballyclare Comrades), Dale Montgomery (Armagh City)
Midfielders: Jordan Gibson (Dollingstown), Colum Curtis (Ards), Barry Walsh (Bangor), Daniel Culbert (Queen's University), Marcus Dallas (Loughgall), Colm O'Riordan (Immaculata), Gary Dorrian (Immaculata), Kevin Lynch (Sport & Leisure Swifts), Ryan Corrigan (Lisburn Distillery), Joel Cooper (Ballyclare Comrades)
Forwards: Richard Thompson (Dollingstown), Chris Trussell (Ballyclare Comrades), Stephen Murray (Armagh City), James Doyle (Crumlin Star)
Belfast Telegraph Digital